David Erritzoe

David Erritzoe
Imperial College London | Imperial · Centres for Neuropsychopharmacology and Psychedelic Research - Divsion of Psychiatry - Brain Sciences

MD, PhD

About

135
Publications
64,610
Reads
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6,336
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
February 2018 - present
Imperial College London
Position
  • Lecturer
September 2009 - February 2017
Imperial College London
Position
  • Research psychiatrist
April 2004 - July 2009
University of Copenhagen
Position
  • PhD Student and Post Doc

Publications

Publications (135)
Article
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Background Major depressive disorder is often associated with maladaptive coping strategies, including rumination and thought suppression. Aims To assess the comparative effect of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor escitalopram, and the serotonergic psychedelic psilocybin (COMP360), on rumination and thought suppression in major depressive...
Article
Psychedelic therapy is perhaps the most exciting new development in psychiatry. Not only does it offer a radical new approach to treatment where mainstream approaches have proven ineffective, but the growing evidence for transdiagnostic efficacy is eliciting a re-think of current diagnostic and symptom-specific approaches to psychiatry. This excite...
Article
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Background Over the last two decades, a number of studies have highlighted the potential of psychedelic therapy. However, questions remain to what extend these results translate to naturalistic samples, and how contextual factors and the acute psychedelic experience relate to improvements in affective symptoms following psychedelic experiences outs...
Preprint
Background: The Relaxed Beliefs Under pSychedelics (REBUS) model proposes that serotonergic psychedelics decrease the precision weighting of neurobiologically-encoded beliefs, and offers a unified account of the acute and therapeutic action of psychedelics. Although REBUS has received some neuroscientific support, little research has examined its p...
Preprint
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Objectives: To perform a Bayesian reanalysis of a recent trial of psilocybin (COMP360) versus escitalopram for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in order to provide a more informative interpretation of the indeterminate outcome of a previous frequentist analysis.Design: Reanalysis of a two-arm double-blind placebo controlled trial.Participants: Fifty...
Preprint
Psychedelic therapy (PT) is an emerging paradigm with great transdiagnostic potential for treating a range of psychiatric disorders, including depression, addiction, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and others. ‘Classic’ serotonergic psychedelics, such as psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) a...
Preprint
In medical research, the gold standard experimental design is the blinded randomized controlled trial. Despite the central role of blinding, it is rare for trials to assess blinding integrity and to incorporate this information into the interpretation of results. Here we use computational modelling to show that the combination of weak blinding and...
Preprint
Aim: N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a psychedelic compound under development for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). This study evaluated the in vitro metabolism and clinical pharmacokinetics (PK) of DMT fumarate (SPL026) in healthy subjects. Methods: Results are from the Phase I component of an ongoing Phase I/IIa randomised, double...
Article
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Psilocybin therapy shows antidepressant potential, but its therapeutic actions are not well understood. We assessed the subacute impact of psilocybin on brain function in two clinical trials of depression. The first was an open-label trial of orally administered psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg, 7 d apart) in patients with treatment-resistant depression...
Article
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Background: Across psychotherapeutic frameworks, the strength of the therapeutic alliance has been found to correlate with treatment outcomes; however, its role has never been formally assessed in a trial of psychedelic-assisted therapy. We aimed to investigate the relationships between therapeutic alliance and rapport, the quality of the acute psy...
Preprint
Importance Psilocybin therapy shows antidepressant potential; our data link its antidepressant effects to decreased brain network modularity post-treatment. Objective To assess the sub-acute impact of psilocybin on brain activity in patients with depression. Design Pre vs post-treatment resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) was recorded in two trials...
Preprint
Healthful behaviors such as maintaining a balanced diet, being physically active, and refraining from smoking have major impacts on the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other serious conditions. The burden of the so-called “lifestyle diseases” - in personal suffering, premature mortality, and public health costs - i...
Article
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Microdosing is the practice of regularly using low doses of psychedelic drugs. Anecdotal reports suggest that microdosing enhances well-being and cognition; however, such accounts are potentially biased by the placebo effect. This study used a ‘self-blinding’ citizen science initiative, where participants were given online instructions on how to in...
Article
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Psychedelic microdosing describes the ingestion of near-threshold perceptible doses of classic psychedelic substances. Anecdotal reports and observational studies suggest that microdosing may promote positive mood and well-being, but recent placebo-controlled studies failed to find compelling evidence for this. The present study collected web-based...
Article
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Animal models have shown that chronic alcohol exposure is associated with persistent neuroadaptations in amygdala synaptic function, whereas human studies have consistently reported amygdala grey‐matter volume (GMV) reductions in alcohol dependent patients (ADP). We hypothesised that chronic alcohol use associated with neuroadaptations may entail a...
Article
Objective To conduct a systematic review of modern‐era (post‐millennium) clinical studies assessing the therapeutic effects of serotonergic psychedelics drugs for mental health conditions. Although the main focus was on efficacy and safety, study characteristics, duration of antidepressants effects across studies, and the role of the subjective dr...
Article
Background Psilocybin is a serotonergic psychedelic with psychoactive effects mediated by serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) activation. It produces an acute psychedelic altered state of consciousness with a unique phenomenology that can be temporally characterized by three intensity phases: onset of psychoactive effect, a peak plateau and return to n...
Article
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Background 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is being actively researched as an adjunct to psychotherapy. It may be beneficial to trust, empathy and cooperative behaviour due to its acute prosocial effects. Aim To test (a) the acute effects of MDMA on measures of empathy, trust and cooperative behaviour, and (b) subacute changes in mood thr...
Article
After a legally mandated, decades-long global arrest of research on psychedelic drugs, investigation of psychedelics in the context of psychiatric disorders is yielding exciting results. Outcomes of neuroscience and clinical research into 5-Hydroxytryptamine 2A (5-HT2A) receptor agonists, such as psilocybin, show promise for addressing a range of s...
Article
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Studying transitions in and out of the altered state of consciousness caused by intravenous (IV) N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT - a fast-acting tryptamine psychedelic) offers a safe and powerful means of advancing knowledge on the neurobiology of conscious states. Here we sought to investigate the effects of IV DMT on the power spectrum and signal div...
Article
Positron emission tomography (PET) enables non-invasive estimation of neurotransmitter fluctuations in the living human brain. While these methods have been applied to dopamine and some other transmitters, estimation of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; Serotonin) release has proved to be challenging. Here we demonstrate the utility of the novel 5-HT2A re...
Preprint
Full-text available
Studying transitions in and out of the altered state of consciousness caused by intravenous (IV) N,N- Dimethyltryptamine (DMT - a fast-acting tryptamine psychedelic) offers a safe and powerful means of advancing knowledge on the neurobiology of conscious states. Here we sought to investigate the effects of IV DMT on the power spectrum and signal di...
Article
Full-text available
Background In the past few years, the issue of ‘microdosing’ psychedelics has been openly discussed in the public arena where claims have been made about their positive effect on mood state and cognitive processes such as concentration. However, there are very few scientific studies that have specifically addressed this issue, and there is no agree...
Article
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The original version of this article contained an error in the labelling of Figures 2 and 3. While the captions and figures themselves are correct, in order to correspond with the in-text references, they have now been re-numbered in both the PDF and HTML versions of the article.
Article
Background:: Recent studies have suggested therapeutic benefits of psychedelics for a variety of mental health conditions. The understanding of how single psychedelic administrations can induce long-lasting effects are, in large, still lacking. However, recent studies in both healthy and clinical populations suggest a role for personality changes....
Article
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The main psychedelic component of magic mushrooms is psilocybin, which shows promise as a treatment for depression and other mental disorders. Psychedelic effects are believed to emerge through stimulation of serotonin 2A receptors (5-HT2ARs) by psilocybin’s active metabolite, psilocin. We here report for the first time the relationship between int...
Article
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Near-death experiences (NDEs) are complex subjective experiences, which have been previously associated with the psychedelic experience and more specifically with the experience induced by the potent serotonergic, N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Potential similarities between both subjective states have been noted previously, including the subjective...
Article
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Objective To explore whether psilocybin with psychological support modulates personality parameters in patients suffering from treatment‐resistant depression (TRD). Method Twenty patients with moderate or severe, unipolar, TRD received oral psilocybin (10 and 25 mg, one week apart) in a supportive setting. Personality was assessed at baseline and...
Article
Background: Neuroimaging studies imply that the regular use of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), the major constituent of ecstasy pills, alters the brain's serotonergic system in a dose-dependent manner. However, the relevance of these findings remains unclear due to limited knowledge about the ecstasy/MDMA use pattern of real-life users....
Article
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Psychedelic drugs are making waves as modern trials support their therapeutic potential and various media continue to pique public interest. In this opinion piece, we draw attention to a long-recognised component of the psychedelic treatment model, namely ‘set’ and ‘setting’ – subsumed here under the umbrella term ‘context’. We highlight: (a) the p...
Article
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Rationale: Recent clinical trials are reporting marked improvements in mental health outcomes with psychedelic drug-assisted psychotherapy. Objectives: Here, we report on safety and efficacy outcomes for up to 6 months in an open-label trial of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. Methods: Twenty patients (six females) with (mostly)...
Article
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Psilocybin with psychological support is showing promise as a treatment model in psychiatry but its therapeutic mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, cerebral blood flow (CBF) and blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) were measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after treatm...
Article
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Psychedelic drugs are creating ripples in psychiatry as evidence accumulates of their therapeutic potential. An important question remains unresolved however: how are psychedelics effective? We propose that a sense of connectedness is key, provide some preliminary evidence to support this, and suggest a roadmap for testing it further.
Article
Recent work with noninvasive human brain imaging has started to investigate the effects of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on large-scale patterns of brain activity. MDMA, a potent monoamine-releaser with particularly pronounced serotonin- releasing properties, has unique subjective effects that include: marked positive mood, pleasant/unu...
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Repeated withdrawal from alcohol is clinically associated with progressive cognitive impairment. Microglial activation occurring during pre-clinical models of alcohol withdrawal is associated with learning deficits. We investigated whether there was microglial activation in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients (ADP), using [¹¹C]PBR28 posi...
Article
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Cue reactivity is an established procedure in addictions research for examining the subjective experience and neural basis of craving. This experiment sought to quantify cue-related brain responses in gambling disorder using personally tailored cues in conjunction with subjective craving, as well as a comparison with appetitive non-gambling stimuli...
Article
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Cue reactivity is an established procedure in addictions research for examining the subjective experience and neural basis of craving. This experiment sought to quantify cue-related brain responses in Gambling Disorder using personally tailored cues in conjunction with subjective craving, as well as a comparison with appetitive non-gambling stimuli...
Article
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As a behavioural addiction, gambling disorder (GD) provides an opportunity to characterize addictive processes without the potentially confounding effects of chronic excessive drug and alcohol exposure. Impulsivity is an established precursor to such addictive behaviours, and GD is associated with greater impulsivity. There is also evidence of GABA...
Article
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The brain’s serotonergic system plays a crucial role in the processing of emotional stimuli, and several studies have shown that a reduced serotonergic neurotransmission is associated with an increase in amygdala activity during emotional face processing. Prolonged recreational use of ecstasy (3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) induces alte...
Article
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Background: Psilocybin is a serotonin receptor agonist that occurs naturally in some mushroom species. Recent studies have assessed the therapeutic potential of psilocybin for various conditions, including end-of-life anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and smoking and alcohol dependence, with promising preliminary results. Here, we aimed to i...
Article
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Pathological gambling is a psychiatric disorder and the first recognized behavioral addiction, with similarities to substance use disorders but without the confounding effects of drug-related brain changes. Pathophysiology within the opioid receptor system is increasingly recognized in substance dependence, with higher mu-opioid receptor (MOR) avai...
Article
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Alcohol dependence is a brain disease with a progressive, and relapsing, course. Alcohol is directly and indirectly affecting many neurochemical brain systems, leading to dysregulations for example in the brain opioid systems. Functional neuroimaging allows studying individuals with alcohol dependence directly and has contributed greatly …
Article
Drug and alcohol dependence are global problems with substantial societal costs. There are few treatments for relapse prevention and therefore a pressing need for further study of brain mechanisms underpinning relapse circuitry. The Imperial College Cambridge Manchester (ICCAM) platform study is an experimental medicine approach to this problem: us...
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We here describe a multimodality neuroimaging containing data from healthy volunteers and patients, acquired within the Lundbeck Foundation Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging (Cimbi) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The data is of particular relevance for neurobiological research questions related to the serotonergic transmitter system with its n...
Article
For several decades, addiction has come to be viewed as a disorder of the dopamine neurotransmitter system; however, this view has not led to new treatments. In this Opinion article, we review the origins of the dopamine theory of addiction and discuss the ability of addictive drugs to elicit the release of dopamine in the human striatum. There is...
Article
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This study aimed to replicate a previous study which showed that endogenous opioid release, following an oral dose of amphetamine, can be detected in the living human brain using [11C]carfentanil positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Nine healthy volunteers underwent two [11C]carfentanil PET scans, one before and one 3 h following oral amphet...
Article
The inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter system is associated with the regulation of normal cognitive functions and dysregulation has been reported in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders including anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and addictions. Investigating the role of GABA in both health and disease has been constrained by d...
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Serotonergic signaling is considered critical for an appropriate adaptation to stress. We have previously observed that in healthy volunteers, prefrontal serotonin transporter (SERT) binding is positively associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis output in terms of the cortisol awakening response (CAR). Here, we tested (1) if such a...
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Animal studies support the role of the dopamine D3 receptor (DRD3) in alcohol reinforcement or liking. Sustained voluntary alcohol drinking in rats has been associated with an upregulation of striatal DRD3 gene expression and selective blockade of DRD3 reduces ethanol preference, consumption and cue-induced reinstatement. In-vivo measurement of DRD...
Article
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The compound 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a potent monoamine releaser that produces an acute euphoria in most individuals. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced-order study, MDMA was orally administered to 25 physically and mentally healthy individuals. Arterial spin labeling and seed-based resting state functional connecti...
Article
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3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a potent monoamine-releaser that is widely used as a recreational drug. Preliminary work has supported the potential of MDMA in psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The neurobiological mechanisms underlying its putative efficacy are, however, poorly understood. Psychotherapy for PTSD u...
Article
Background: Anxiety has been linked to initiation, maintenance and relapse of alcohol dependence. Neurobiological models of anxiety have proposed important roles for amygdala-insula and amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex interactions in the generation and regulation of anxiety states, respectively. Objectives: This study tested the hypotheses tha...